First, you’ve heard about the issue from overly-passionate and mocked activists. Then, more people came to support the idea of battling climate change. Some made it into legislation, while others failed to do so. In fact, there are even those that pretend that the problem doesn’t even exist. Since this has been an issue for quite some time, how long have we got? Could it be that we are already past the point of no return?
The Clock Is Ticking
IPCC, or the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released the fifth assessment report of the state of the climate in 2014. They have since then warned the public of the dangers of climate change and claimed we should act on it as soon as possible. In 2018, they have given the public an estimate of time before it becomes too late to act. We have 12 years at most to keep global warming at a maximum of 1.5 ºC and we are already cutting it close.
Many activists are not happy with the number as the panel has been misquoted and misunderstood, so many people are under the impression that there is no need to act before this time, while others are convinced that they need not take any action, period.
The number we need to focus on, however, is not the number of years, it is the height of the global temperature. Keeping the warming limited to 1.5 ºC could keep us safe for a while, though a better solution would be to reduce carbon emissions to zero in the hopes of slightly cooling the planet.
Why Aren’t We Doing More?
There are several reasons for this, but it is safe to say that a huge part of the issue lies in the corporations relying heavily on materials that produce a significant portion of carbon emissions. These corporations are also donors and lobbyists to many of the politicians in the world, who put a different spin on the issue.
For example, Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement because he and his followers deny the existence and the problem of climate change. This is more than just ignorance, this is politics. It is a combination of money and bombarding the public with the story that climate change activists are a part of a conspiracy or political propaganda and nothing more.
The United States is used purely as an example. There are many countries and companies around the world doing nothing to address the issue, while some are falsifying the reports of their equipment and its effect on the environment.
Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old activist who became known worldwide in 2018 when she initiated her School Strike for Climate, where she demanded of the Swedish government to reduce carbon emissions to an acceptable level in accordance with the Paris Agreement. Since then, she has been involved in several other talks and demonstrations, not the smallest of which was calling out world leaders at the summit in Davos. They arrived by private jets, and Greta traveled by train.
When asked about her activism, Thunberg said she didn’t want to face her grandkids one day when the damage is well beyond repair and to be in the position of having to explain why she didn’t do more to stop it. Her activism also comes from the shock that the data has been around for a while and nothing substantial was being done and there was little to no media coverage of the issue.